Friendly bear crashes Burnaby wedding over the weekend (VIDEO)

Dec 20 2017, 1:24 am

They say there’s a special place reserved at the kids’ table for wedding crashers, but one specific unwelcome guest that marched in during a weekend ceremony in Vancouver

When planning a wedding, there is always the possibility that someone might unexpectedly decide to crash the party for some free booze and dancing, but perhaps only in Vancouver does the couple need to worry about something else marching in during their vows.

It happened to Clara and Faris Ataya during their ceremony in Burnaby this past weekend.

In the midst of their vows, a small bear, juvenile in size, appeared behind them and wandered back and forth behind the couple. But the pair were so wrapped up in, you know, getting married, that they didn’t notice the furry animal.

It seems they were the only ones.

Zarah Rachel was a member of the wedding film crew who caught the whole thing on camera. “About one-third of those in attendance rose out of their wedding seats, and the commotion of several guests joining other parkgoers in trying to scare away the bear eventually caught the attention of the couple as they exchanged their vows,” she told Vancity Buzz.

According to Rachel, a park picnic was happening a short 10 metres away, which is what they suspect attracted the bear. “Despite the best efforts of the picnic attendees and wedding guests to scare it away, the bear kept coming back,” she added.

It wasn’t until moments later that Faris Ataya, the groom, exclaimed “bear!” that his bride became aware of the situation. At first she thought Ataya was playing a strange joke, until he stopped the ceremony to make sure everyone was aware of the bear.

Rachel says the couple were the least surprised, while most of their guests were excited and panicked. “We see these all the time in Whistler,” the groom can be heard saying in the video.

But regardless, the wedding guests and nearby picnic-goers congregated together, clapping loudly, to scare the bear away. They also called conservation officers, but by the time they arrived the bear had already made an early exit from the wedding.

The rare occurrence was fortunately caught on camera by the wedding film crew, but it wasn’t supposed to be. Just one week before the ceremony, the couple was without a videographer, and seeing an opportunity to do something special, the Executive Hotel in Burnaby where their reception was located made an unusual last-minute decision to hire a crew for both the ceremony and reception.

Rachel says their intention was to create a keepsake video for the couple. There is no doubt they will be marveling at the footage for more than just one reason for many years to come.

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